On the surface it looks as if Yahoo is playing catch up- But look a little closer an you'll see that Yahoo is chasing a different strategy, and is far ahead of their competition.
Reach out and Yahoo Someone
Yahoo has acquired companies and technologies that enable people to communicate with one another. Hotjobs.com allows people to communicate with potential employers. Then there's email, IM, and the dating services. Two weeks ago Yahoo announced a partnership with the leading internet conferencing company, WebEx. Together with Yahoo's corporate IM product, Yahoo is owning inter-human communications from the boardroom to the bedroom.
The Killer App
It has been noted that the killer apps born from the internet age have been those technologies that enable humans to communicate with one another. There is probably more email sent in one day than snail mail in an entire month.
Beginning from the Yahoo! branded broadband connection, to the pre-teens IM'ing each other to senior citizens, Yahoo has locked up, or is in the process of locking up, all internet based inter-personal communications. Why? Because human communication is the killer app of all time.
The Trump Card
Search is only a part of Yahoos larger pie. So, while Google, MSN, Overture are concentrating on search, Yahoo! is reaching for the very heart of what it means to be human: Communication.
And that is the trump card that Yahoo! is holding.